13 ways to improve circulation

If you have problems with circulation (cold feet, cold hands, vericose veins, etc), try some of these techniques to improve your blood circulation.  These techniques are not original.  They are compiled from a variety of sources (links to original sources provided).

image 1. Hot and Cold Treatments. Hot and cold Showers or Hydrotherapy is a good way of improving your circulation. It is something you can do every day, concentrating on the effected area. Using hot water makes your blood rush to the skin and feeds it. Then when you immediately put on the cold, the blood rushes to your internal organs. You shiver, but what is happening is that your blood is flushing out your skin and leaving it oxygenated. Then, again, flip on the hot water and the blood rushes from your internal organs, so flushing them, to your skin.

Your circulation is increased just by the action of your blood being forced rapidly around your body. This hot and then cold water can be repeated up to 5 or 6 times for optimum results. Do not start straight away on very hot or very cold water. Gradually increase the temperature difference between the hot and cold water over a period of a few weeks so that it is not too much of a shock to the system. This single action can dramatically improve your circulation over time.

You can also do this to a single body part. Use it to improve poor leg circulation or bad hand circulation. It really can make a difference over time.

2. Cayenne. Internally cayenne stimulates the heart, regulating the blood flow and strengthening the arteries and capillaries. If you want to get your blood flowing, and your face red with blood take cayenne tincture. It will not only get the blood pumped around your body, but it will strengthen your heart, clear your arteries, and research has shown that hot herbs raise your metabolic rate by as much as 25%, so will assist in weight loss. Cayenne is a wonderful herb for a healthy life.

image 3. Ginkgo Biloba. Ginkgo Biloba is another all-around circulation booster. It is most widely know for its ability to improve memory, due to its ability to increase blood flow through the brain. In Germany, Gingko is used by physicians to treat varicose veins. It improves blood flow and strengthens blood vessels. Gingko is also anti-inflammatory, relaxes the lungs, improves blood flow to the heart and lessens coronary demand for oxygen – reducing shortness of breath and is helpful in asthma. Use it to treat poor circulation, thrombosis, varicose veins, cramp, and spontaneous bruising.

4. Dry Natural Skin Brush. Every morning wake up and brush your skin with a dry natural skin brush.image

5. Try an inversion table. I’ve never seen one of these at a gym, but perhaps some out there do have them. I would suggest to improve circulation try using an inversion table, which you lay down, hook your feet to, and lean backward until you are almost completely upside down. It not only helps to improve circulation, but also to decrease stress.

6. Breathing. Most of us use the Lungs at a small fraction of their full efficiency. If we carry out deep breathing to use the Lungs more fully, this will get more oxygen into the blood, remove waste products from the blood – especially carbon dioxide – more quickly; and generally help to speed up the circulation of the blood.

7. Stress Relief. Stress can be a cause of foot circulation problems as the body limits blood supply to the feet and other extremities so it can be diverted to the major organs. This means that circulation to areas such as the feet and hands will be affected. Some ways to combat stress are meditation, deep breathing exercises or maybe even watching a funny movie.image

8. Elevate Feet. Raising the feet for short periods can help get the circulation moving through the feet. By placing your feet on a chair or sofa as you lie on the floor blood will drain from each foot and when the feet are returned to the floor, they will be freshly oxygenated.

9. Exercise. One simple way to improve your poor foot circulation is to become more active. Physical activities such as walking, swimming, running etc will all help to improve blood circulation if performed regularly. Start off with a steady walk and increasing the pace and length of the walks over time will get the blood pumping and start to open up the smaller blood vessels.

10. Eat Better. Eating a healthier diet and reducing your fat intake will improve your circulation because there will be less fat in the blood stream which will make the blood less viscous and allow it to flow through the small blood vessels more easily. Increasing fiber in the diet will also help remove fat from your system and improve the circulation even more.

11. Get Massages. Massages are an excellent way to improve blood circulation. They are essential to over all good health because massages rid toxins and drain lymph nodes, they also improve look and feel of your skin.

image 12. Stretch. Stretch. At your desk
, there are many stretches you can do. This will promote blood circulation and energy. In chair yoga we use some of these stretches:

Spinal Twist: Twisting to your right, take right hand over the back of your chair, take left hand to the right knee, now twist and breath. Do the same for opposite side.

Cat cow pose: With your hands placed on your knees, curl your spine, arch back and look up as you inhale as you exhale, round spine, tuck tummy in and press chin into your chest.

Neck stretch: Tilt your head to the right. Take your right hand to the left ear. Stay here and feel the stretch on the left side between your ear and shoulder. D0 the same on the other side.

13. Tap Yourself. Make fists and gently tap your knees, thighs, back and ribcage. This gets the blood moving.


Do you have any other ways to improve circulation? Please share them below. Thanks!

1 Comment

  1. Thank you for the article! These are some great tips that I plan to implement ~ I just had surgery (2 weeks ago) on both feet and am just now starting PT and weight bearing exercises! I have noticed now that I am out of bed with my feet not elevated 24/7, that my feet are almost CONSTANTLY purple/blue… and painful!


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